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Dee Caffari's Biography

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Solo yachtswoman Dee Caffari celebrated her 33rd birthday in January 2006 in the Southern Ocean on board her 72ft steel cutter, Aviva.

Denise Caffari, better known as Dee, is originally from Watford but now resides in Gosport. As a child Dee used to sail with her father Peter and they had a boat moored at Hampton Court.

On 20 November 2005, Dee Caffari set out from Portsmouth to be the first woman to sail single-handed, non-stop, around the world against prevailing winds and currents. 178 days, 3 hours, 6 minutes and 15 seconds later she finished her 29,100 mile voyage triumphant and a record-breaker.

Dee Caffari was an all-round sportsperson in her youth. Excelling at volleyball and pentathlon.

After giving up her job as a PE teacher, Dee travelled and also completed various yachting qualifications.

Back in the UK, Caffari worked for Mike Golding Yacht Racing and completed a number of races.

Then, in the Global Challenge 2004/5, Dee successfully skippered 18 amateur yachtsmen around the world. She was the only female skipper in the race.

The gruelling solo Aviva Challenge came out of discussions between Dee, Sir Chay Blyth, and Andrew Roberts, who is head of Caffari's technical support team.

Dee regards Sir Chay, who was the first man to sail around the world 'east to west' as her mentor.

For more information see Dee Caffari's answers to My Sport in The Telegraph. In January 2007, Dee Caffari announced that she intended competing in the 2008-9 Vendee Globe solo non-stop around-the-world race.

In June 2007, it was revealed that Dee Caffari had become an MBE in the Birthday Honours list.

In February 2009, Dee Caffari became the first woman to sail solo around the world non-stop both ways.

On 22 June 2009, Dee Caffari and her all-women crew beat the 2,500 nautical mile round Britain and Ireland mono-hull record.

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